VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Thing That Ate Floyd: 2X CD

I was wondering if Lookout was ever gonna re-release this. Originally released on vinyl in 1988, this now serves as a snapshot of what was goin’ on in the Northern California punk scene during that time period (sheesh, it’s damn bizarre sayin’ shit like that ’cause to an old fart like me, it seems like last week), much like MRR’s Not So Quiet on the Western Front did six years earlier. Like that collection, Floyd has some good things goin’ for it, as well as some things not so hot. On the plus side, you get to hear what some of today’s favorite bands sounded like when they were first starting out, as this includes tracks by No Use For A Name, Neurosis, Cringer (featuring future J Churcher Lance Hahn), Lookouts (featuring both former Lookout big wig Larry Livermore and a very young Tre Cool from some band whose name escapes me) Operation Ivy (no need to explain ’bout these guys, do I? The track here is exclusive to this comp, by the way), Bitch Fight (includes Todd Spitboy, one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting while on tour [Thanks for turning me onto Los Crudos. I think the other guys in Ollin are still pissed at you for that, though, seeing as I’m STILL playing ’em to death]. The song’s good, too, even if it is a blatant rip off of SLF’s “Here We Are Nowhere”) Crimpshrine (Jeff Ott’s old band and something of a legend unto themselves), Stikky (members of whom did business under the name Spazz) and others. You also get some choice tunes from some other well-known bands, including Sweet Baby, Sewer Trout (“Vagina Envy” is a scream, even after all this time), Corrupted Morals, Tribe of Resistance, Steelpole Bathtub, Mr. T. Experience (hands down the best track here), Kamala and the Karnivores (also featuring Todd) and Capitol Punishment. They’ve also reproduced the booklet that came with the original pressing, although there’s no update letting you know what’s happened since to most of the people/bands represented here. The biggest minus is one inherited from the original compiling of this epic: some bands on here suck just as bad as they did way back when. Had this been a single LP effort, it would’ve easily been in the running as one of best punk-related comps ever. As it stands, though, it’s at best an interesting look at a once-influential scene, warts ’n’ all. Would’ve been a neater idea if they’d re-released the Turn It Around comp on disc with the choice cuts from this comp. At least the result would’ve been consistently good.

 –jimmy (Lookout!)